The Washington Post

Virginia Tech’s Shane Beamer discusses recruiting, South Carolina allegations

We’ve covered the ACC’s latest round of expansion from the eyes of Hokies football coach Frank Beamer, men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg and Athletic Director Jim Weaver, but on Monday running backs Shane Beamer discussed the sort of impact adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh will have on the Hokies’ football recruiting.

Since returning to Blacksburg, Beamer has put a jolt into Virginia Tech’s recruiting, landing four 2012 prospects and persuading offensive lineman Brent Benedict to transfer from Georgia this summer. One of those 2012 recruits, offensive lineman Jack Willenbrock, is from the Philadelphia area.

So even though Virginia Tech’s recruiting emphasis continues to revolve around the areas within a six-hour drive of Blacksburg, Beamer thinks the Hokies will only get more recruits from the northeast now that the ACC has more of a presence there.

“It opens up different parts of the northeast,” Beamer said. “We’re up in the northeast a little bit recruiting right now. We’ve had players in the past from Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, and this is another avenue. We’re always gonna start in Virginia, but Virginia Tech has a powerful name, particularly in the northeast, that I’ve seen in recruiting. This is another opportunity to utilize that.

It’s nothing we’ve talked about as a staff. We haven’t even talked about the conference expansion as a staff, not one time throughout all this stuff that’s going on. I’m sure we’ll discuss later on as we go, but right now we’re just trying to beat Marshall.”

The Hokies have landed quality players like Andre Davis (New York) and Kevin Jones (Philadelphia) in the past, and current players like tight end Chris Drager and freshman cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett are from the fertile Western Pennsylvania recruiting territory.

Beamer also addressed the notice of allegations his former employer, South Carolina, received from the NCAA on Monday. The notice alleges that 10 football players received $47,000 in impermissible benefits from a local hotel, and that two boosters working with the Delaware-based Student Athlete Mentoring Program provided inducements and benefits totaling $8,000 to recruits.

Both allegations are considered to be potential major violations. Shane Beamer was on South Carolina’s coaching staff for four years prior to coming back to Virginia Tech, and he was the Gamecocks’ recruiting coordinator during his final three years there.

“If I get called before the NCAA, that’s fine. I’ve got nothing to hide,” Beamer said. “Hearing that is news to me. The four years that I was there and the three years that I was the recruiting coordinator, that’s the first I’ve heard of anything impermissible going on.”

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.


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